Tag Archives: horror

Diary of a Haunting Review

I love horror. I may be as big of a horror fan as many people, but I do like it. the problem I found is that horror works best as a visual medium. It’s rare to find a good, scary horror story and usually, these are in the form of short stories or novellas. Stephen King gets away with writing 600-page horror stories because he apparently found the secret to it. One of the most recent examples I found is Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano. Once again, I found this while browsing the library and the cover is what caught my eye.

Paige, her mom and brother Logan has moved into an old house in Idaho from LA. Of course, she hates her new house. Main reason is because of all the flies and spiders the house has. Soon after moving, Logan starts acting weird and there are times when electronics in the house start to not work properly. Not to mention there is a buzzing noise in Logan’s room. Paige thinks that the house may be haunted, but there is plenty of people saying otherwise.

One word perfectly describes this book: dull. Absolutely nothing scary happens. It’s just spiders, flies, cell phones not working and Logan having seizures and acting weird. There is no ghost, there’s nothing scary about the house except it has a morgue once upon a time and Logan is acting weird. There is NO suspense to this book whatsoever.

The writing style is supposed to be a diary since this book is called Diary of a Haunting. It reads more like a regular first person narrative than just a bunch of journal entries. I hate using this example, but the best place to see what a good journal entry story looks like is Diary of Anne Frank. Yes, I’m aware that was a real diary, but it’s the best reference.

Let’s not forget the ending. Rushed doesn’t even begin to describe it. Hell, it’s even predictable. There are clues all over that point to how this book would end.

This book is 310 pages. None of them are scary. The only scary bits are the black and white photos this book has to make it seem like it’s “based on real life.” It just goes to show you that you can’t judge a book by its cover. That image does not happen in the book. The book would’ve been much better if that happened. Skip this book.

Expect a review of the new Harry Potter book next time.

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Carrie (1976) Review

I’m throwing this out there right now: I’m not a fan of Stephen King. It’s not like I didn’t try to read his stuff. I’ve read Misery, Bag of Bones, The Gunslinger, Hearts in Atlantis, Graveyard Shift and It. Never finished either of them. I’m not saying he’s a bad writer, far from it. It’s just that he tends to be really long winded. I’m sorry, I’m going to say it: The movies that are based on his stuff is better.

With that out of the way, I recently decided to watch one of his most popular movies based on the book that launched his career: Carrie. Now, I know that this is the book that King started writing, hated and then tossed away. Yes, King said himself he hates Carrie and that’s OK. As for the movie itself, I felt it was OK.

For those not in the know, Carrie is about troubled teenage girl Carrie White who is constantly being bullied at school. If that wasn’t bad enough her mom is one of super religious nut jobs who think everything is a sin. Oh, and she has unexplained psychic powers. One day a boy asks her out to the prom, but he’s on;y asking her because his friend asked him to, which leads to a lot of scheming.

We all know about the ending where Carrie burns down her school, killing everyone inside; but do we know the rest of the story? Well, the rest of the movie is basically Carrie getting ready for the prom, the girls scheming what they want to do to Carrie and Carrie’s mom being a psycho religious nut. Not much of a horror movie since the only scary bits are near the end. Most of it is pretty mundane to be frank.

That does not make this a bad movie by any chance. It’s more along the lines of a decent 70s movie. What brings this movie up is the excellent cast. Sissy Spacek (Carrie) does a great job of playing an awkward girl who is being held back (and abused) by her psycho mom and other girls. She makes Carrie out to be as shy and obviously mentally scarred.

In fact, the entire cast does a great job. Hell, John Travolta (yup, he’s in this) plays, well, John Travolta. What else is there to say? The role of a rebel douche (or douche in general) is perfect for him. Piper Laurie as Carrie’s mom is terrific in all the right ways. She took this role and had a ton of fun with it. It was a joy watching her and Spacek interact.

One thing this movie did do was make me want to read the book because there’s a lot more in that book that was taken out. Obviously, expect a review here once I’m finished with it.

In all, Carrie has a decent plot that doesn’t really have much scary happen until the end, but the great acting helps this movie a lot.

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